Monthly Archives

December 2018

International

Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio plans mini Hornbill festivals

KOHIMA: The Hornbill Festival has put Nagaland on the global tourism map with the state recording a huge influx of tourists for the event from December 1 to 10 this year. 
However, chief minister Neiphiu Rio feels there’s potential to attract more tourists. “We need to improve connectivity and have more hotels to carter to this rising number of tourists,” he said during an interaction with the media here.

Talking about the first aspect, Rio agreed that road conditions need to be improved. “Give me some more time,” he said. “I expect the roads to improve in the next two years,” he added.

However, the chief minister said the problem the hoteliers in the state face is that although there is a huge demand for rooms during the Hornbill Festival, “there’s less takers during rest of the year,” he said. “The state need to have a uniform flow of tourists throughout the year as that will only boost the tourism industry,” he stated.

The state is thus planning many mini Hornbill-type festivals throughout the year. “We have 16 major tribes in the state. Each tribe has its own distinct culture and festival. While the Hornbill Festival showcases the rich tradition of each and every tribe, we can celebrate the festivities of different tribes separately too,” Rio said. “In that case there will be some festival almost at every month and tourists can come all round the year. It will also boost tourism in different districts also as the tribes are spread over different regions,” he felt.

The state is also focusing on homestay facilities which are picking up fast all over the world. “We have a committee which visits and checks the facilities and other aspects once somebody offers his place for homestay. Tourists are invited to stay there only after it gets green light by the panel,” Rio stated.

The chief minister is also looking forward to quick completion of the proposed new airport near Kohima. The state government had planned a Greenfield airport at Ciethu, some 50km away from the state capital. Nagaland now has its only airport at Dimapur which cannot cater to large aircrafts. “The new one will have a longer runway. It’s expected to be ready by 2021 and that will surely be a shot in the arm for state tourism,” Rio said.                                     By Archita Bhaduri 

International

Prime Minister Modi to inaugurate Bogibeel Bridge

 Financial Express

 Bogibeel bridge, India’s longest rail-cum-road bridge, will be gifted to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25! The Bogibeel bridge connects the north and south banks of the Brahmaputra river. Falling in the eastern part of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, it is a much-awaited rail-road bridge that will provide a huge connectivity boost to the North-East. PM Modi will inaugurate the Bogibeel bridge on December 25 which is also marked by the government as Good Governance Day, and is the birth anniversary of late AB Vajpayee.

The Bogibeel bridge spans over 4.94 kilometres and is located just over 20 km away from the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border. It spans over the Brahmaputra river in the north eastern state of Assam between Dhemaji district and Dibrugarh district. The bridge will connect the town of Dibrugarh in the south to Dhemaji to the river’s north. The bridge has two railway lines on its lower deck and a three-lane road bridge on the top.

While former PM HD Deve Gowda laid the foundation stone for the Bogibeel bridge in January 1997, the work started only in April 2002 when former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee inaugurated the construction work. Since then, the challenging railway project has missed several deadlines. However, with Modi government focusing on improving railway connectivity in the North-East, the work on the Bogibeel bridge was expedited and recently for the first time a freight train ran on it.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted a video of the first loaded freight train running over the Bogibeel bridge. He said that the development of Bogibeel Bridge is part of a larger effort by PM Narendra Modi to bring about growth & development in the North-East through infrastructure projects, in order to truly integrate the Seven Sisters with the mainland.

Bogibeel bridge will save time both in terms of road and rail travel. As of now, a train journey from Arunachal Pradesh to Assam’s Dibrugarh means a detour of 500 kilometres through Guwahati. But, after the Bogibeel bridge, the train journey will be of less than 100 kilometres. Additionally, Delhi to Dibrugarh train travel time will come down by about three hours to 34 hours as against 37 hours presently.